The Cubs added several college bullpen arms during the draft and Cheek showed the ability to take the ball when called upon, leading Georgia in appearances the last two years.
A pitcher and catcher in high school at Morgan County in Georgia, Cheek spent his first year of college at Georgia Southern, making 16 appearances and tossing 20.2 innings. He then transferred to Florence-Darlington Technical College in South Carolina, fanning 58 in 59 innings with a 5-4 record and a 2.75 ERA at the JUCO school.
Cheek earned a scholarship to Georgia and thrived out of the bullpen for the Bulldogs, showcasing his plus slider and fastball. He made a team-high 22 appearances and threw 44 innings (3 saves) as a junior and followed that up with a team-best 24 games in 2015, with 31 K in 34.1 innings, a 2.64 ERA, and a team-high six saves.
With only 78.2 innings under his belt in college the last two years, the Cubs made be tempted to start Cheek out as a starter, where he thrived last summer in the Coastal Plain League for Gastonia. The 5-foot-10, 184-pounder made 10 starts during the summer of 2014, tossing a pair of complete games, including a shutout. He fanned 69 in 59.1 innings.
Whether out of the bullpen on as a starter, Cheek should have enough mound presence to pitch his way out of Mesa in a short time period. While his height may scream bullpen arm, don’t be surprised if you see Cheek making some starts during his time in the minors.